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‘Free-to-play titles are natural fit for Xbox 360′ – Microsoft

Tuesday, 28th August 2012 12:27 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft has laid bare its approach to the free-to-play market, and sees a bright future for F2P titles and its Xbox hardware moving forward. The publisher views the release of Happy Wars and Ascend: New Gods as a pilot for bigger things to come.

Speaking with OXM, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “We’re always looking at ways to push the boundaries of the console and our digital platform. Bringing true free-to-play gaming experiences to Xbox 360 is a natural extension of that.”

The spokesperson continued, “With the ongoing success of the model on PC, and the interest from both our consumers and our partners looking to explore this system on console, it simply made sense to deliver this experience through great games that would take advantage of it.”

Microsoft will kick off its F2P strategy with the release of Happy Wars in autumn, followed by Ascend: New Gods in 2013.

“In this pilot program, Microsoft Studios will support free-to-play gaming with Happy Wars, due out in September, as well as the recently announced game Ascend: New Gods which will ship in several months,” The spokesperson added.

“The free-to-play model and games experiences will be available to all Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers,” the spokesperson concluded, “as many of the games planned will be multiplayer games by nature (an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription is required for multiplayer gaming). The games that use the free-to-play mechanic will leverage the Microsoft Points system.”

What’s your view? Is F2P a good fit for Xbox 360?

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16 Comments

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  1. monkeygourmet

    Not many single player F2P games then?

    Oh yeah, that’s because multiplayer unlocks will entice more people to pay for armour / weapons etc… to get the advantage over other players.

    Especially kids. When I speak to my nephew, all he talks about are cheats and glitches. Any way he can get an advantage without actually being skilful.

    It’s an annoying habit that is forming with kids and multiplayer gaming. The amount of games I stop playing because there just riddled with cheating kids exploiting glitches or camping are growing by the day.

    Free to play is a good way to tap this market by providing kids with better ‘weapons’ using daddies card you have linked to your console.

    You can shear a sheep many times, you can only skin it once…

    Now, if they had different lobbies for people with payed for content and those who are grinding, that may work.

    On Eurogamer it mentioned that The amount of grinding vs. upgrade points in Cryteks Warface was insane. Thus forcing you to purchase monetary upgrades…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. drewbles82

    I agree, but camping, thats just a choice, like other choose to run round shooting without a care in the world, others like to creep round etc.
    Never understood why people complain bout campers, every time i play and someone is camping, as soon as they kill you, you know where they are and so does everyone else so they are usually killed pretty quick.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    @2
    Agree. I’m getting on a bit and reactions are not up to the kids of today. Tactically I can hold my own though. I don’t just sit and wait in one position. I move about a fair bit, but because I’m not running about like a mad man I get accused of being a camper. I’m sorry, am I not playing to your strengths and allowing myself to be killed by you constantly? Didums. :)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. robotiod

    Free 2 Play natural fit for XBOX sure it is. Because requiring a gold subscription obviously makes free 2 play flourish on a system.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. hitnrun

    @monkeygourmet: You’re kidding, right? Kids these days are cheaters who are determined to use unearned advantages? Have you ever heard of the Game Genie? Game Shark? Cheat codes?

    Cheating used to be a way of life back in the 80s and 90s. Then games became big business and sandbox FPS and Achievements became industry standards. There’s no money in allowing cheating any longer. Despite the high-profile shenanigans and the medium of YouTube, cheating is way down in this generation, and more’s the pity.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. hitnrun

    As to the article, he’s right – free-to-play titles are a natural fit for what Microsoft has been trying to turn the 360 into for the past few years.

    Unfortunately for them, it was originally designed as a game console, so they’ll have to wait for the next gen to complete the transformation into a casual money pit. Incidentally, who do they think buys the household Xbox? It sure as heck isn’t the person who eventually uses it to catch up on episodes of Breaking Bad.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Deacon

    ‘Free-to-play titles are natural fit for Xbox 360′

    That’s why you’re about 2 years behind your main competitor.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    I’m intrigued to know what people think F2P actually is and what they consider fair.

    Pretty much any multiplayer shooter you pick up today for a full RRP you never get “everything” right off the bat. You want all the gear you have to play. Good F2P shooters are the same, you get a small amount of gear for free, the rest you have to unlock. The main difference is that the default xp gain is usually much slower and players can pay to earn xp faster or to unlock specific items earlier. Is that fair? Well, why not? If the game is actually any good every weapon and piece of equipment should be balanced against each other so that the free gear is competitive with the most “expensive” gear in the game. Nothing is better, it’s just different. People who pay get more variety earlier, People who don’t will have to grind for that privilege. That, imo, is fair.

    What is not fair? If there are items that are objectively superior that either can only be purchased with real money or cost an unrealistic amount of xp to purchase free. I’m talking like a supper high RPM weapon that OHK’s with lethal splash damage in a 10m radius with an unlimited clip. That’s clearly BS and breaks any semblance of fair competition the game might have had.

    Unfortunately it has become a little bit easy for noobs to cry “Pay To Win!” when they get owned by an experienced player using a weapon they don’t have placing the blame on the weapon rather than their own lack of skill. That is sort of where the industry is at the moment. Full of fucking whiners.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Christopher Jack

    @8, Pretty much on the dot.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. OlderGamer

    Your right FS, but where is the incentive for people to pay for new features in the game?

    And another issue in F2P is community segmentation. We already have that in Map Packs and current lvl DLC.

    Personialy I am not sold on F2P. I would rather have full length, cheaper games. Whatever it is that drives up Dev costs … is where the industry should start looking. But it is funny, the top sellers in the industry aren’t the ones calling for F2P games. Seems to be the folks that can’t compete against the big budget, high profile, and heavily marketed trip A games.

    I think the reality is just that down the road, we will see less releases and more focus on fewer titles. There just isn’t room for everything. People that buy 60usd games only have so much time and so much money to spend on games.

    I just think game prices need to come down. You can think of as many creative ways to make 100usd out of a game as you want. But at the end of the day, if it is microtransaction, dlc, or just all up front. The fact is 100usd games are hard to sell.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Ireland Michael

    Oh fuck off Microsoft.

    If the one game you’ve revealed so far is anything to go by, it’ll be a trainwreck.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Da Man

    Free-to-play multiplayer is a natural extension of sad grindfests from CoD and Bf through any mmo/multiplayer online game where depressing patients play for days not to have fun by being better but to feel better by clocking 500 hours.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    @10, what segregation? Unlike most other multiplayer shooters when you play Tribes whenever they release new maps everyone gets them and not just the people who pay more.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. speedxl01

    Free to Play? hahaha nice joke MS, You have to pay for gold subscription.
    Offer the games to silver accounts, then it will be F2P.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Gadzooks!

    Free 2 play? My arse!

    I have to pay for broadband, the electrickery to run my devices, rent, and I even have to pay for food or I might die of not-eating-itus!

    Dear Jim, can you fix it for me to not be such a scabby loafing pov tosspot?

    Regards,

    S.L.P Tosspot.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. IL DUCE

    @1 Hey moron…there’s barely any single player F2P games

    @15 Yeah, just like any other free to play game asshole, it’s not like MS just recently invented this model, get over it…

    #16 2 years ago